In this data snapshot, authors Marybeth Mattingly and Jessica Carson explore the role of government programs in alleviating poverty for people with different racial-ethnic identities. Because poverty rates among non-Hispanic whites are significantly lower than among other groups, programs with disparate effects by race can either widen or decrease racial-ethnic gaps in the poverty rate. The authors find that SNAP and the EITC play particularly important roles for non-white populations; however, Social Security maintains low poverty rates among whites, and exacerbates the poverty gap between white and non-white populations. Policymakers who want to advance low income populations and promote racial-ethnic equity can consider both these programs’ roles in reducing poverty and racial-ethnic poverty gaps.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2019


Data Snapshot


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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